* Avg ore grade at Black Fox for April, May up 30 pct from Q1 * Merger with Linear Gold likely to close by June-end
June 7 (Reuters) - Apollo Gold Corp APG.TO said an uptick in gold production and ore grade increases helped boost performance at the Black Fox mine during April and May, and sees production trend higher during the second half of 2010.
Apollo also said its merger with Linear Gold Corp LRR.TO is expected to close by June-end.
For the full year 2010, Apollo expects to produce 90,000 to 100,000 ounces of gold at total cash costs of between $500 and $550 per ounce.
For June through December, Apollo said it expects to sell between 32,000 and 42,000 ounces of its estimated gold production to the spot market, with a balance for delivery into the hedge book, which would be reduced to 142,685 ounces of gold at year-end 2010.
During April and May, average ore grade was about 30 percent higher than Q1 2010, with gold production of over 12,000 ounces from 119,000 tonnes of ore at Apollo’s wholly-owned Black Fox mine.
Apollo shares were almost flat at 29.5 Canadian cents Monday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Reporting by Gowri Jayakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Prem Udayabhanu